The Flesh Tailor by Kate Ellis

The FleshTailorDI Wesley Peterson is at a dinner party hosted by his sister, a local doctor. When her associate, Dr James Dalcott, doesn’t show up, no-one suspects the truth – that he has been shot dead in his home. While Dalcott seems to be a perfect local doctor, he has at least one dark secret in his past – one that may well have led to his death.

At nearby Tailors Court, a number of bodies are unearthed, showing signs of dissection. Not Wesley’s problem, it seems, as they date back centuries, but when a child’s body is discovered alongside a coin from the 1930s, it appears that there is a case to be investigated concerning a missing evacuee to the area. With the same marks on the bones as the older bodies, it seems that the Flesh Tailor may have inspired an heir. An heir that may well have links to the death of James Dalcott…

Thursday morning, I was off work with a stinking cold, feeling pretty miserable to be honest. So it was off to the bookshelf for an old favourite – this is the fourteenth in a (currently) eighteen-strong series and there are reviews on the blog for sixteen (including this one) of those books. And there’s a reason that I keep coming back to the series.

The marriage of a mystery from the past with a present mystery is a constant theme and here Kate Ellis repeats a trick that worked exceptionally well in The Armada Boy, one of my favourite books from the series. Two stories from the past link to the modern day, one of which is recent enough for characters involved in the events to still be around. Not that the plot copies the earlier book at all, but it adds an extra relevance to the earlier case that isn’t always there in some of the books.

As a bonus, Kate also has the nerve to use one of the cheesiest clues in detective fiction and gets away with it. Pretty impressed by that, despite the fact that I missed it completely. Add in the rather gruesome imagery that the author makes chilling without at any point dwelling on it or detailing it, and this is an effective and highly enjoyable whodunit.

The best way to emphasise how much I enjoyed this book is that given how rotten I was feeling, with low levels of concentration, I still finished the book in a day – simply couldn’t put it down. Highly Recommended.


  1. I do like mysteries that marry the past with the present and yet I haven’t read any of the Wesley Peterson series… yet! It must be good if it is one of those books you turn to when you feel under the weather!


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